by Steve Major
Months ago I became very excited to learn that there finally was a hard
drive available for ADAM. A short time later I was disappointed to learn
that in order to install this hard drive I'd have to take my ADAM apart,
cut holes in it, and then solder it into place. Needless to say with my
experience in this area my ADAM would have turned into a hopeless pile
of goo in trying to install it. I thought my days of seeing a hard drive
were over since the creater of this hard drive said that there was no
way for a plug-in hard drive to work.
Now comes the new PLUG-IN hard drive interface and it offers everything
the first one does and a whole lot more. First we'll have a little back
ground on it's creater. The owner of Micro Innovations is Mark Gorden.
He is a professional hardware designed who applied his talents to ADAM
when his son asked him to build a hard drive interface for ADAM, he did
so and soon after Micro Innovations was born.
Lets get into talking about the Powermate itself. First thing that we
should talk about is the interface itself. The interface is very
designed and very professional looking, to install it, just plug it into
the center slot-- that's it. Now what if you have a large X-RAM
addressor card there? No problem, just detach the wire from it and
solder in onto the Powermate interface (complete instructions are
included to do this, and even I did it), now what if you have a parallel
interface there? Again no problem, you don't need it because the
Powermate interface comes with one BUILT-IN, this is a completely
compatible parallel interface that works great with all existing
software. Now so far with all this you may have thought Mark would stop
here-- no way!! You also have two SERIAL ports on his interface as
well!! The only problem with these is that they are not compatible with
any ADAM software although patches for this are available.
Second let's talk about the Powermate hard drive. To plug it into your
ADAM just hookup to ribbon cable from the interface to the rear of the
hard drive, it's much like hooking up a parallel printer or modem and
the simplest thing in the world. The hard drive casing matches the color
of your ADAM completely, to turn it on, just flip the switch in the back
of the casing. It has it's own powersuppily and a cooling fan to keep
the drives cool for extended periods of use. There are several options
for the size of your hard drive. The casing has room for two IBM type
drives. One of these is of course taken up by the hard drive. The hard
drive can be of three sizes: 10, 20, or 30 megabytes. The other spot in
the casing can be taken up by 1) nothing, 2) another hard drive, 3) 360K
floppy disk drive, 4) 720K floppy disk drive. The latter drive is
compatible with existing ADAM converted 720K drives and makes this a
The prices range from $399 to $699 depending on what drive size you want
or how many you need.
To me Powermate gets a A+ for being the perfect addition for your ADAM.
If your just starting out, just a tape drive will do, once you get
Powermate your on your way to bigger and better things.
What's in store for the future from Micro Innovations? Mark is almost
done his Powermate-4 which has space for four IBM type drive-- that's
right you could have FOUR hard drives working with you ADAM. Another
thing we may see are bigger hard drives available, one day I called Mark
and he was working on a 50 Megabyte hard drive for his Powrmate. This
company is sure to become a leader is the ADAM world for designing new
and exciting hardware products for ADAM.